Green Buildings Another Scam?
The Palazzo Hotel and Casino boasts many features of Las Vegas excess -- an indoor waterfall, a smoke-filled gaming area, seven decorative fountains, and guest suites with three TVs and power-controlled curtains. Yet the 50-story complex achieved an unlikely and lucrative milestone after opening in 2008. A powerful private organization declared it an environmentally friendly "green" building, the world's largest at the time.
Is Al Gore in here somewhere?
The designation won its owner, Las Vegas Sands Corp., a $27 million tax break over 10 years because a Nevada law puts the private interest group -- not the government -- in charge of deciding which buildings are green enough for a taxpayer subsidy.
A USA TODAY review of 7,100 LEED-certified commercial buildings shows that designers target the easiest and cheapest green points by trying to create pleasant and healthful office spaces; using common building materials; or taking steps with an unknown effect, such as providing preferred parking for fuel-efficient cars, bike racks and showers, and posting educational displays about the building.
Unexpectedly USA TODAY found that designers emphasize LEED points that can be won through simple purchasing decisions and shun labor-intensive options and cutting-edge technology.
Yep, that's never happened before. Designers never before have designed to avoid expensive options...
Another "easy to achieve" point, earned by 91% of the buildings, is for using building materials with recycled content. That includes steel and concrete, standard building materials that usually yield a point for being made within 500 miles of a building site.
Not that it's common around progressives...
In total, a downtown office building can earn 32 of 40 points needed for LEED certification through measures that the user's guide calls easy or inexpensive.
Which, apparently, is bad. Perhaps more sacrifices to cool the planet are in order, right Al?
Posted by: Bobby